Posts filed under One Off

Breath of the Wild: The Best Game Ever

As promised, below you'll find some additional thoughts for after you’ve watched the video! Thanks so much to everyone for being patient over the last few months - it’s very much appreciated. Enjoy! x

Bonus thoughts! So! First of all, weapon degradation is a really interesting one - I’ve personally had no issue with it. If anything, I’d say it’s an integral aspect of the game’s longevity despite being largely, wonderfully aimless. One of the main reasons I grew tired of Skyrim was that the lure of loot gradually wore off. Once you were seriously geared up, the world suddenly became a landfill of metallic junk.

Weapons that break give Zelda’s treasures a more constant sense of purpose, and help remove the need for a smooth curve of balanced difficulty. You find bits that make the game too easy - they serve a purpose - and then they break. Players always seem angry at having things taken away from them, but treasure without risk or loss isn’t really TREASURE.

Big quests tend to leave you entirely out of arrows and with your best weapons gone, but - providing you aren’t rushing to finish the main plot - this only adds to the texture of the experience. You chill out, you explore, you find powerful stuff, and then you embark on a serious adventure that will see you expend the resources you collected. It’s such a fresh and wonderful flow that truly embodies the nature of adventure - much more exciting than the traditional model of Exponentially Always Getting Stronger Because Games.

Most importantly of all though, it’s clear that Breath of the Wild isn’t meant to be a game about fighting. It’s punctuated with battles and conflicts that ramp up with delicious drama, but there are clear clues about the way the game is intended to be played: enemies frequently drop near-worthless loot, and your weapons rapidly degrade and break. Meanwhile, the world constantly respawns ALL of the enemies. By the rules clearly embedded within this world. fighting is frequently framed as just being a waste of your time. Run, my boy! Run!

And do you know what? I think that fits. This isn't a game about being a warrior, it’s a game about being an explorer - a scientist. Most beautiful of all is that more frequently than not, weapons double up as tools. Most of the weapons I treasure and love will never go anywhere near a fight. Why would I use these things in combat? These are precious! They’d break!

It really isn’t the weapon degradation that feels jarring to me - it’s the quantity of combat trials you face in the game, creating a barrier of challenge and frustration that feels oddly out of place.

That said, it really is fair to say that the inventory management system is poor - although arguably a side-effect of this is that players won’t use it unless they really have to, keeping the game residing in the world whenever possible. Weak silver linings, admittedly - but I can’t rag on the inventory system too much, as there’s beauty hidden within this mess.  

The game’s insistence of lumping almost everything together in one big box of stuff leaves it unclear which items hold real value, and which items might hold interesting secrets. This thrill of feeling like you exist in the world comes down to the elements I explored in this video, but it’s this gradual discovery of the world’s physical properties that truly pops into life. Science, man! Baked apples! It's good!

Finally, despite the great efforts of the game’s design to keep you present and immersed in its world, eventually it really does start to falter - especially with regards to the classic mechanic of Fast Travel. It’s too easy sometimes to find yourself zapping between fast-travel points as if cycling through a small stack of postcards: grasping for that instant gratification of glimpsing a new adventure in the distance, rather than taking the time to stick with one direction until you find one.

But gosh, if it isn't The Best Game Ever. What an absolutely wide-eyed, wonderful treat.

Posted on July 12, 2017 and filed under Best, One Off.

Dark Souls III: The Best Game Ever

This time on THE BEST GAME EVER, Matt talks about a game that he didn't even really like that much to be perfectly honest. Anything is possible: be the eagle you want to see in the world.

Posted on March 29, 2017 and filed under One Off.

Phantasy Star Online: Don't Step on my Child(hood)

Hello there! Look look, another new thing! Don't Step on my Child(hood) is a video-thing where we go back and look to see if games we loved as children are actually any good. The thumbnail was thrown together far too quickly this morning because I overslept, but perhaps more importantly this video ties into a brief new FEATURE on the Daft Souls Podcast, which will return this THURSDAY. Set your calendar clocks!

Posted on January 31, 2017 and filed under One Off.

Hitman On The Side

Hello! So now we're back, we're experimenting a little - so from now on every time we make a highly-produced properdopper video, we'll also be recording a little side-dish of sorts, where we play about with the same game more informally and have a bit of fun. We do hope you enjoy it!

Posted on January 26, 2017 and filed under One Off.

Duelyst: The Best Game Ever

We're not good at this hiatus business, are we? Quinns and Matt have recently had their free time devoured by Duelyst, a free-to-play card game that's distressingly good.

Take it from Quinns! A card-carrying card-carrier. He knows his onions (though he doesn't carry onions).

The happy, clanking jazz at the beginning comes courtesy of Jeremy Warmsley.

Posted on September 2, 2016 and filed under One Off.

Jalopy: The Best Game Ever

Any of you lot willing to climb into Quinns' passenger seat again after his Ghost Truck video? No?

What a shame! This week he's taken a look at the superb Jalopy. This is an early access game developed by Greg Pryjmachuk, a designer with the esteemed credentials of working on the Formula 1 franchise of racing games. Why did he swap the champagne and breakneck speeds of F1 for cigarettes and two-stroke engines? Quinns is very excited to explain why this is better, and even more beautiful.

Posted on July 21, 2016 and filed under One Off.

INSIDE: The Best Game Ever

A short video this week from Matt, who loosely compares the design of INSIDE to Half Life 2.  Please note that this video is completely spoiler-free: I've been very careful to cherry-pick footage that contains anything of note - any scenes shown with specifics are from the first few minutes of the game. I'd ask that people take the same care in the comments below - if you'd like to chat about spoilery stuff, I've made a special thread over on the SU&SD forums!

Posted on July 14, 2016 and filed under One Off.

Dark Souls III: Pants Man

I promise this is the last time for quite a while that you'll pop over to Cool Ghosts to see a picture of a naked man with a bag on his head, but this is just a final plug for last week's charity stream. It's up on YouTube in three chunks, clicking the image above will begin the playlist. It's a long old thing, but we had a blast doing it and have almost raised £15,000.

Thanks so much for watching and donating - let us know which moment you enjoyed the most, and if you were one of the fine people sharing art in the stream, please do post a bit of it below!

Posted on June 30, 2016 and filed under One Off.

Subnautica: The Best Game Ever

This week on Cool Ghosts Matt and Quinns take a deep dive into a world where everything is apparently wetter and/or better. Subnautica! What a treat. We've specifically only used footage from the early bits of the game, because the stuff that pops up later is frankly a bit stunning. If you're sold on the basis of this video already, avoid reckless googles or even watching the official trailers. Surprises ahoy, captain.

Posted on June 23, 2016 and filed under One Off, Best.